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Posts posted by bilrus

  1. Bill, please talk more about the turkey and the process.

    And, which sandwich will be the one you remember most?

    The turkey itself was pretty simple - I bought a large turkey breast(s) at the grocery store, boned it and was left with the two large breast pieces. Did a simple dry rub - paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, celery salt, garlic salt (I was out of garlic powder), brown sugar, dash of cayenne, salt and pepper. Smoked it on Sunday for about four and half hours at 230 on my Weber Smoky Mountain (see below) until it registered somewhere between 155 and 160.

    One thing I did differently than in previous versions was to attempt to form it into more of a "loaf" shape in the smoker. Previously I've left it flat and ended up with a really wide, thin piece of meat. Shaping it gave me much more uniform cooking and a nicer looking shape. I'd probably brine it the day before if I was doing it again because it was a touch dry, but I forgot to do it on Saturday. Tonight, I sliced it and heated it briefly in a 350 oven until it was just warm.


    I preferred the one with the BBQ sauce (store bought, but a very good one - the Savannah flavor of the store brand at Balducci's, a "gourmet foods" store in DC). Mainly because it was a little less dry and because I was using *gasp* low-fat mayo :shock: .

    This is the same turkey I used in the Cobb salad I posted a few days back.

  2. Corduroy does RW better than any restaurant out there, until someone can convince me otherwise.

    The only bummer was when Ferhat told us that the sea scallops weren't available (NOOOOOOOOO!!!). I've had them enough that I wanted to go a different route, but I'd been talking them up so much that jenrus had her mouth set for them.

    No problem - Chef Power only substituted the best tasting Alaskan Salmon I've ever had - a jewel-colored red orange, moist, so fresh and flavorful and almost gamey that it made you appreciate the fact that salmon does actually exist in nature. It worked just as well with the traditional scallop presentation of mushrooms (this time chanterelles), potato puree and chardonnay sauce.

    Of course the soups were great, especially the sweet, creamy corn soup. And rather than fighting over who would get the most bites from the "Michel's Kit Kat bar" (I still like it bettter than the original - sorry, Chef Richard), we both ordered our own and added on a pistachio bread pudding for good measure. When I was a kid I was grossed out by the idea and texture of bread pudding - now I can't get enough of it.

    The restuarant was as full last night as I've ever seen it, including several previous restaurant week visits. I hope all those presumably new visitors keep coming back. But why wouldn't they, with the kitchen turning out food as good as they do every other night of the year.

  3. Yesterday I had the most serene RW experience sitting at the bar at Colvin Run Tavern. I wish lunch could be like this every day.

    I was the only person at the bar at noon and had a pleasant (although quite wintry) meal of seared scallops with corn sauce, chanterelles and some sort of pork, a grilled short rib with rasted potatoes, snap peas and a garlic sauce and a strawberry crisp with stawberry ice cream. Two glasses of wine plus a few sample pours from the bartender and it took all my willpower to make it back to my desk.

    They were offering about six or seven options for each course and four or five desserts - many more summery than what I ordered, with the entrees heavily leaning towards seafood.

    This is a perfect example of what I personally like about Restaurant Week. I don't typically consider myself a cheapskate when it coes to dining out. But today I spent a little more than I normally would have for a weekday lunch, albeit a lot less than it would have cost normally, and I was able to have a meal where I didn't have to order at a counter or wait for my name to be called to have some medicore, chain food. I only wish more places within driving distance of Reston were taking part.

    On second thought, knowing the places around here, maybe not.

  4. do people go to dinner to find faults???

    Undoubtedly, a lot of people do. And the greater the reputation of the restaurant or the higher the bill the more likely that is to be the case.

  5. Sometimes you get a craving. Sometimes it is for something that you know you shouldn't have. Sometimes it is something you know your imaginary internet food friends would disapprove of.

    Today it was a Big Mac.

    But it is a summer Sunday and you have a grill. So what do you do?

    You make your own Big Mac. But this one is so good you name it after yourself and call it a "bigrus".

    Your wife makes fun of you until she tastes it.



  6. That's some very pink chicken, Bill. I hope it's the camera.

    Nope, not the camera. It is red food coloring to give it the true Restaurant-style color.

    I've never seen a real explanation of why Indian restaurants use coloring to make the chicken red (or probably more properly orange) linke that. But the one time I made this without the coloring, it tasted the same, but it just didn't feel right.

  7. One of my life's missions is to mention Bowen's Island and their shovelfuls of roast oysters in any Charleston SC thread.  Especially when a writer is heading to Charleston. 

    Are there any alternatives to the oysters at Bowen's Island? I am going to Charleston next month (at least that is the plan) and my wife is not a fan of the slippery little things.

  8. I  started watching the show a few episodes into its run, and was curious ... was her homosexuality discussed earlier in the series? Or was it mentioned for the first time last night?

    Last night was the first I'd seen of it. I thought it was pretty cool that they didn't make a big deal of it, rather than resort to the more typical reality TV trick of making that the person's identity or "character".

  9. Grilled tenderloin with Montreal steak seasoning (I've just discovered this and like it a lot), served over mixed greens salad tossed with Point Reyes Blue cheese dressing and chunks, sauteed vidalia onions and tomato from my patio.


  10. I had scallops again. Someone should make me order something else next time just so folks don't think I'm obsessed or something.  :biggrin:  They were, of course, perfectly cooked, sweet and creamy inside. An excellent match with Bourgogne Blanc I was drinking.

    I was sitting next to Heather and each dish they brought to her I said, "Oh, I'll have THAT."

    I think beets and goat cheese are a perfect combination and the beet salad here is a great version.

    Scallops and mushrooms on teh other hand aren't what one usually thinks of as a perfect combination. But this really works - earth and sea - a funky little surf and turf. And one of the best scallop dishes in town.

    And that white Burgundy was going down like water with everything.

  11. I don't know about the Zuni technique, not owning any Zuni Cafe books. Can somebody summarize?

    I can't summarize the technique, but I can discuss the end result since I had dinner at Zuni Cafe last week: a $38 roast bird for two, a very GOOD roast bird, sitting atop a 'stuffing' of what seemed like sliced day-old baguette marinated in balsamic vinaigrette.


    "day-old baguette marinated in balsamic vinaigrette."

    And yes, it WAS as bad as it sounds.

    Not the chicken - which was very good (though not, repeat, not as good as Palena's); the stuffing, which flat-out sucked, and remained on the plate, uneaten.

    But the oysters from the raw bar were as good as any I've ever had,


    I've never had this at the restaurant, only coming out of my oven. And don't tell anyone, but I actually don't like raosted chicken all that much.

    But it sounds like they went a bit overboard on the dressing or didn't mix it well. If done right you'll occasionally end up with a soaked soggy bite, but you might also end up with a barely slicked, toasted bite with currants and pine nuts and greens. That's part of what I like about it - the differences in texture.

  12. But...in that recipe you linked to, the chicken is wrapped in plastic overnight. And it simply roasts at 425 degrees, without saying anything about a preheated vessel. Is the book recipe dramatically different? (Four pages?? Wow.)

    Maybe I should see if I can get this book out of the library in advance.

    Yikes - that is not the recipe the way it is in the book. I'll delete that link from my post.

  13. I don't know about the Zuni technique, not owning any Zuni Cafe books. Can somebody summarize?

    A fairly small bird is salted and airdried overnight in the refrigerator and cooked at a high temperature in a pre-heated vessel of some sort.

    Oh, and serve it with kick-ass bread salad.

    Judy Rogers goes into four pages of painstaking detail in the book.

    Edited out link to stupid wrong recipe.

  14. I've not been downstairs but the Cafe has become a must everytime I've visited. I prefer the idea of having a choice of dishes rather than the one set menu offered downstairs and I find the casual feel very attractive.

    I've said it on other threads but this is a place that makes me smile when I go there.

    And that's the point, isn't it?

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